HOW TO BE A TV STAR

JOSH THOMAS, THE CRE­ATOR, WRITER AND STAR OF PLEASE LIKE ME ON MAK­ING THE HIT SHOW, MEET­ING LENA DUN­HAM AND CRASH­ING HOL­LY­WOOD’S BEST PAR­TIES.

GQ (Australia) - - SOURCE -

We’ve just ru­ined Josh Thomas’s day off. He only woke up 40 min­utes ago and in­stead of re­lax­ing or play­ing with his dog, John, he’s talk­ing to GQ from his Mel­bourne home. Thomas just wrapped the lat­est sea­son of Please Like Me, the first ABC scripted com­edy in 20 years to last for four sea­sons. “I read that, too,” he says, when we raise it. “I don’t know if that’s true.” It is true. But, as a mark of the show’s suc­cess, it’s a fairly hum­ble one. Af­ter all, the se­ries cur­rently airs in both the US and UK, has won praise from Lena Dun­ham and – by his own ad­mis­sion – made Mr Thomas in­stantly recog­nis­able “in any gay bar in the world”. Im­pres­sive stuff.

GQ: Did you imag­ine you’d be do­ing a fourth sea­son when you started out? Josh Thomas:

No, I couldn’t have thought for­ward four sea­sons. My brain’s not that big. We barely know what’s hap­pen­ing at the end of each sea­son when we start it. But it’s not an in­ten­sively plot­ted show – it’s not Lost.

GQ: How does the whole thing come to­gether? JT:

The first sea­son, I’d never writ­ten a show be­fore and so they teamed me up with Liz Do­ran, our script pro­ducer. [Co-star] Tom [Ward] and Liz come to my house and there’s five days where we plot out the sea­son. Then Liz turns that into a scene break­down and we write it. That’s it.

GQ: What’s the best part of the cre­ative process? JT:

I like that you don’t have to do the same thing all year – it changes ev­ery month or two. But writ­ing is the worst be­cause you have noth­ing ahead of you and you have to fill it. It’s in­suf­fer­able. Once you have the scripts, it’s fun be­cause you have an in­struc­tion man­ual for what to do the rest of the time.

GQ: It’s a com­edy, but it hits on some pretty hard stuff. Which is more fun to write? JT:

The emo­tional things give mo­men­tum. Those shows where peo­ple just stand around telling jokes, I find dull. The sad bits make the jokes fun­nier, and the jokes make the sad bits a bit sad­der. You want to have both.

GQ: What would sur­prise peo­ple about mak­ing a TV show? JT:

How ev­ery­thing you see was put there. Some­one de­cided to put that ob­ject there, that per­son’s out­fit, how their hair was cut. You look at the ex­tras in the back­ground and ev­ery sin­gle one of them was cho­sen.

GQ: What’s Lena Dun­ham like? JT:

She’s the nicest per­son. Lovely, quite loud, very funny and kind. Ex­actly how you’d imag­ine Lena Dun­ham to be.

GQ: You’ve spent a bit of time in the US. What’s the most ‘show­biz’ mo­ment of your ca­reer so far? JT:

Some­one took me to Kris­ten Wiig’s birth­day party. I didn’t know who Kris­ten Wiig was un­til I saw her there. We sort of broke in and there was Judd Apa­tow, Amy Poehler, [ SNL cre­ator] Lorne Michaels and [ 30 Rock star] Jack Mcbrayer.

GQ: Did you schmooze at all? JT:

God, no. I wasn’t re­ally meant to be there, so I just sat in the corner in the dark. I felt very out of place. Please Like Me sea­son four de­buts Novem­ber 9, 9.30pm, ABC

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